San Diego Chargers (+2.5) @ Miami DolphinsVegas - 86% of bets on the Chargers A lot of the early action came in on San Diego and that hasn't changed going into the weekend. Punters will be looking for the Chargers to regain a grip of a wildcard spot (assuming the Broncos run away with the division), and what better rebound than against a middling Dolphins team who can't seem to string any consistency together.
The problems for the Chargers begin in Vegas. 86% of the bets are on San Diego, bringing the play under the magical number of 3. I expect a lot of sharps to go heavy on Miami now the line has fallen under this key number. Geographically, the Chargers are playing east coast at 1pm ET. This is historically a bad situation to be in, not only is it a 6 hour flight, but it feels like morning to these guys.
Head to head it doesn't get better, San Diego hasn't won in Miami since 1981, and Philip Rivers, while throwing for 900 yards in the last 3 meetins in Miami hasn't seen his team come close to winning.
Jason verrett and Brandon Flowers are both out, key cogs in the secondary, which was highlighted as Manning was able to put together 5 straight scoring drives on Thursday, coming out 35-21 winners. Now they have had a couple extra days to prepare, but Miami hold the no.3 ranked pass defence and Brandon oliver was held to negative yardage in the first half against Denver. Miami don't hold the worst run defence either, and are coming off road wins in Chicago and Jacksonville.
Caution is advised in this one.
Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Miami.
Under is 10-0 in the last 10 meetings.
Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Chargers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
New York Jets (+8.5) @ Kansas City ChiefsVegas - 64% of bets on the Chiefs Now yes, this is the Jets we're talking about, and Michael Vick is certainly no saviour, but there's a couple of aspects that make the Jets, if not a play, then definitely a deterrent on Kansas.
Kansas are rarely favoured this much, there's an expectation (rightfully so) that they'll go to 5-3, but looking at their offence, they might struggle to put up points. The Jets front four rank among the best in football. They are 4th in sacks with 24 and 5th in run defence. If they can stop Charles the way they stopped Buffalo last weekend - Buffalo had 29 carries for 59 yards - they'll be forcing Alex Smith to throw. He may only have one INT in his last 6 games, but he rarely throws downfield. In fact, his no.1 receiver remains Jamaal Charles.
The Jets were weak against this sort of play when Shane Vereen went huge 2 weeks back, but they limited Kyle Orton last week to 10 completions last week and were more undone by the woeful offensive output of Smith and Vick.
Don't expect the Jets to win, but expect them to cause some problems for the Chiefs, especially early on.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6.5) @ Cleveland BrownsVegas - 70% of bets on the Browns It's rare to see Cleveland favoured so much, but then, it's rare to see a team as woeful as the Bucs. At home, fade away, the Bucs are awful, can't score 20+ and turn the ball over regularly.
However, the road is a different matter. They scored 27 and won in Pittsburgh, they scored 31 in New Orleans and lost in OT. Mike Glennon plays much better on the road.
Last week, The Vikings lived up to their no.3 ranked sack unit and pressured Glennon all day. The Browns front 4 can't do that, they sit in the middle with 16 sacks. They also fail to shut the run down and rank 28th in the NFL. Bobby Rainey should see increased snaps this week, and will put the Browns D on the back foot, opening up routes for Evans and Jackson.
On the Browns offence, Jordan Cameron is out, that's a huge loss, especially on 3rd downs, of which the Browns offence faces many because of Hoyers regressing ability to throw the ball. 2 weeks back in Jacksonville he was held to 16-41 passing. Last week his offence mustered 9 points in 3 quarters to Oakland.
Don't get me wrong, the Bucs secondary gets picked off with ease (Atlanta 56, New Orleans 34 to name a few instances), but Brian Hoyer is going to be benched at some point, and with his top receivers being Andrew Hawkins and Miles Austin, this is a let down spot.